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Brandon [Nov. 20th, 2006|12:19 pm]
I have the sweetest boyfrind ever. Yesterday morning, I woke up to a killer of a migraine. Tingling fingers, sensitivity to light and sound, forgetting words (like "sun" and "cancelled"), nauseous hell-on-earth migraine.

My sweet boyfriend calls my instructor to cancel my test, gets me a glass of water and some pain-killers and a cold compress, tapes a blanket to the window to block out the sun, and gives me a back rub. He was going to call in sick to work, but I made him go, so he calls up our mutual friend Crystal to come and check in on me.

I'm feeling much better now, but seriously, how could one ask for a sweeter honey?
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(no subject) [Aug. 10th, 2006|01:37 pm]
[mood |jubilantjoyful]

It's raining!

I wish to go outside and dance naked and sing to the goddesses of nature! I want to roll around in the mud and pray to the earth!

I love rain, and it is something that we have been lacking this summer. Grand Forks has had a burn ban because everything's been dry and brittle. But I'm hoping that now things can go back to being green and lovely.

It's the thunder and lightning that is beautiful: crashing against the sky. The rain comes down in streams, splashing and puddling, and full of life.

This is how I feel spirtual: in simple acts of nature. I am well aware the scientific explanation of rain, but that doesn't mean that my primate self, my transendental self, can't love the impression of it.
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(no subject) [Jul. 21st, 2006|05:31 pm]
The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. I would say I am now certifiably insane.

I went to Ted's last night and watched "The Shining". Like all Kubrick's films, it was pretty awesome, but it scared the hell out of me. Brandon's out of town for the night, so at about 3 am, when I'm jumping at every unexplained noise, and every perphrial movement, with no Brandon to strangle in the middle of the night, I was thinking I should have known better.

Eric and I stayed up talking until something like 4 am. I watched comedies until about 6, when it finally became light and I could finally go to sleep. I still had nightmares of that creepy little kid screaming "Red Rum" in his Tony voice.

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Long time no blog [Jul. 13th, 2006|10:20 pm]
So, i got a job at K-mart. Well, not so much a job, more like an act of desperation. But, anyway, I am gainfully employed. Half-way through the summer....yeah.

But, it seems that it may be short. GF Hearld seems like they want to give me a better job with more money. So, I hope I get that.

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Father's Day [Jun. 20th, 2006|01:54 pm]
Today is Father's Day. For Mother's Day, I wrote her a letter telling her about all the little things I appreciated her doing for me growing up, being low on funds but still wanting to be sincere.

I tried to do the same for my father, but found it to difficult. I love him, and there are so many things that he did and does that garner my respect and admiration. But there are also so many things that he's done... He got a phone call instead, and a superficial reading of what's going on in my life. Here, instead, is my failed letter to my father:

Happy Father's Day

Although I suppose I should call it "Dad's day" because you always hated being called father. Hated it with a fury I never understand, but I supposed it had to do with the fact that it was so formal and you wanted our relationship to be more relaxed. Too bad we can't always get what we want, huh?

It's all of the things you did to me as a child that I never recognized or appreciated that I thank you today. Like coming to every single one of my sports games, even though I sucked, and paying for those self-same sports, even though I hated the bulk of them and only played because you wanted me to be an athlete so badly, and what else was I going to do, right? Thank you for going on all of those Details that forced you to be away from the family. We knew it was to help the family that you and mom foolishly decided to have way too early.

Thank you for trying hard to teach me how to toss a ball, although sporadically. I never had the heart to tell you that I learned more about sports from Sid across the street than I ever did from you, but he was way more patient with me: assuming girls knew nothing about sports, he prepared himself to be patient with me. You assumed that my inferior girl-genes would be overcome by your superior Jerde-genes: you knew it; I was supposed to know it through osmosis. Ironically, I looked forward to and loathed those times you would notice you were supposed to be training me: it was the only time we ever talked or spent any time together, yet I always hated what a disappointed I was to you: I never got the rules fast enough, and my hand-eye-coordination wasn't great. You always said you were proud of me, and I always knew it was a lie. With the exception of the random times I did well in sports, I knew you were never really proud of me. The smartest person in your high school was never important as athlete-you. Those know-it-all egg-head college boys that you work with are still not as good as you: they can't teach what you know out of a book, right? I suppose I should be thanking you for this too: I can understand slightly why there are so many anti-intellectual trends in America because I watched your self-loathing jealousy up close and personal.

Thank you also for teaching me how to manipulate people. You were the master of it: you could be the life of a party. You had a charisma that everyone was drawn to, and the dry ironic wit that people loved and hated. You could make someone feel special with just a compliment and a smile, and you always knew what the insult that would hurt just a little bit more than anything else. You taught me what to look for, and what to do, although I don't think you knew it at the time. I got to watch up-close and personal how you alienated mom from her friends and family, and how you could break her or me or my siblings into tears anytime the thought crossed your mind. I know how you wanted me to be a boy, and how you thought I was a coward: you said so often enough when you were drunk, although it was confidently forgotten when sober.

Thank you for teaching me to shoot. That is genuine: one of the skills I'm glad I have is being able to aim a gun straight. Thank you for teaching me all of the safety rules as well, so I know never to get hurt.

Thank you for teaching me to be careful what I drink. I know that your cruelty isn't caused by being drunk; you're cruel often enough when you're sober. But I know that being drunk can make you worse, and I don't rightly feel like wrapping a vehicle around a tree like you did.

Thank you for teaching me leadership: someone had to shield my sisters from you two arguing. Although, to this day, I shirk responsibility: I could protect them I'd probably just mess anything else up that I had direct control over.

Thank you for practically throwing me into feminism. It was either become a feminist or hate myself for not living up to your wants and expectations of me. You know, the last time you were here in Grand Forks you asked me why I was "so big on the feminist-thing" like it was a fad or something. I felt like yelling at you "Because you BEAT my mother, you selfish FUCK". But I didn't, because even today I am afraid of you. I'm afraid of not doing everything perfect and controlling every small thing around you because you have the capacity to make everyone MISERABLE and walk on egg-shells if you are in a bad mood.

I remember the first time I saw you beat my mom. I'm not talking about the pushing or the slaps; I'm talking serious physical abuse. I was 12. You came home drunk, and I woke up when the screen door slammed (you never seemed to remember how light of a sleeper I was. I've woken up when you or mom came in late for work pretty much every day of my life. I pretended to be asleep on the couch when I was younger to get to watch TV before you carried me up to my room and tucked me into bed). I sat at the top of the stairs, so I could watch and keep my sisters in their rooms. You and mom were arguing over who she dated in high school, and you called her ungrateful lowlife and threw her into the glass-and-pine coffee table. That's when I ran to my sisters' room, so I would be there if you decided to come into the room. You ran out that night, took the truck and drove off because mom hadn't hidden the keys. We went to the old house that night, afraid. It wasn't the only night we hid from you. Thank you for teaching me to fear relationships, at least I'm cautious about the ones I go into.

Thank you from keeping me from peer pressure. I was already so much of a freak because of my weird clothes and keeping people away from my house, there was no point in trying to entice the fickle court of high school popularity. I was able to be my own person because I didn't have a chance in hell of impressing everyone else anyway.

Thank you for making me hate the fact that I was a female. I tried my damnest to be a boy, and now I can compete in a man's environment, but I thank feminism for accepting that I'm female and that's okay. Please quit acting so fucking shocked that I'm not giving you grandkids AND that I'm not a virginal girl. You wanted a boy, you got me: someone that didn't fit into nice little gender roles. Deal.

Thank you for teaching me that hard work was its own reward. That whatever job you do, you should do it the best you could, regardless of the money. Work hard because it's more satisfying, not because you were getting anything from it.

Thank you for realizing you were a fucktard. I realize you’re trying to get back into my life as best you can, and make amends to mom, as best you can. However, it's too little, too fucking late. Divorce mom, because that's a lost cause. She doesn't deserve you. I wish you realize that connecting with your daughters is more than money. Don't get me wrong, the money helps, but we need more emotional work (or at the very least, we need the ability to not be doing emotional work for you).

So Happy Dad's Day. Here is my tribute to you, with its respect, anger, hate, self-loathing, and love that I feel towards you.
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(no subject) [Apr. 6th, 2006|10:49 am]
Every year, as soon as the bulk of the snow melts, and a suitable Saturday can be found, hundreds of University of North Dakota students decend on University Park to participate in the near-ritual traditon of Springfest. In recent years, this event was not sponsored by anyone: a few bands just "happen" to show up, port-a-potties just "happen" to appear, and a few hundred people just "happen" to decide on the same day that they wish to go to University Park and drink. This year, Student Senate decided to sponsor it, and Suite 49 decided to provide the alchol.

One of the reasons that the Student Government was getting involved in something that has been a largerly informal event was Grand Forks passing a City Ordinance requiring a permit to have alchol on public properties. Before, people just brought their own booze, and it was a "share and share alike" event. Now, there is going to be a segregated beer garden for those above 21, and anyone who wishes to drink may only drink the beer that Suite 49 is providing, because of another city law that says that beer gardens must be segregated by age.

Call me cynical, but I think that if they could have gotten away with it, the city of Grand Forks would have banned the event entirely. I also think it was the fact that we had a business this year sponsoring us had more to do with us getting a permit than the City Council's great concern for the University students. Grand Forks has shown time and time again that they like our money much more than they like the individual students.

My freshman year of college I became aware of the ambivilamce and downright hostility the community towards us. I thought that they liked us: coming into the city, I saw businesses everywhere proclaiming "Welcome back students" and signs posted everywhere saying "Student discount". The whole community seemed to be welcoming us with open arms.

Then I heard about the voting policies of fair Grand Forks, the city that seemed to be welcoming our students so openly. Most cities have elections in November, but not Grand Forks: they're elections are held in June, when a quarter of the students are gone, and the information on how to register seems to be want to be kept a secret, because they never publicize it. My suspicion the Grand Forks citizens are distrustedful of students knowing how to take part in the democratic process was further exerbated by the 2003 city-wide vote on whether or not the city should build a water park, and UND students were actively discouraged from voting. A Grand Forks Hearld letter to the editor was titled "Water Park Supporters Struggle For Campus Votes, Students Don't Know Much About It And May Not Care To Vote" (Oct 23) and told university students not to vote because we didn't have "a stake in the community".

Then there was the problems at the Ralph Englestead arena. Some citizens complained that the UND students were too rowdy, too vulgar, and they couldn't take their little kids to the hockey game. President Kupechella caved in to their demands, and the students were given a lecture reminiscant of a Kindergarten class to sit down and shut up. Now we weren't allowed to stand except for when they said we could, now we couldn't cheer except the cheers that weren't "vulgar", and now there was a security guard standing at every game by the student section that was going to sumarily boot our nalgas if we didn't tow the line. Instead of getting to enjoy the university hockey team, our team, university students, adults, were being treated as if we were infants.

Then there's the rezoning of the area around the Univeristy to single-family houses, so university students could not live near our own university. Many students came out against the rezoning, and it still did not matter, the rezoning passed by a large margin, limiting where students could live while we are furthering our education.

Then there's the businesses not giving anyone a decent wage because they can exploit the steady stream of student laborers, the credit card companies that decend on the campus every fall and spring trying to tempt us out of our money, the apartment owners that overcharge for apartments because none of us have built any credit, the police department making money hand over fist from ticketing the university students, the list goes on and on.

University students number 13,200 people according to wilikepedia.com, which is over a quarter of the Grand Forks population. We bring money, jobs and labor to the community. We deserve to be treated with respect, not contempt.

Those signs I see every year might as well say "Welcome back Student's money" because that's what they really mean.
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Firefly [Mar. 29th, 2006|04:47 pm]
I love Firefly, I love Firefly Joss Whedon's awesome, lalala. I'm so purchasing both of them if I ever get any type of finances.

Anyway, I "borrowed" Brandon's Firefly series this weekend, and got to thinking about it today. In one of the episodes, Mal and Wash get kidnapped by this Russian mob-boss that's out for Mal's blood. In it, everyone picks up weapons and attempts to rescue them, including this girl named Kaylee.

In a later episode, Kaylee makes the comment that she didn't do much good. Mal kisses her on the forehead and goes "I ain't have no problem with the idea of you not killing anyone".

This comment, to me, is strange. Mal kills people all the time. Mal respects Zoe, a woman who kills all the time. Why is it so important to him that Kaylee doesn't not kill?

The only explanation is that I can tell is that he likes Kaylee as she it: without guile, open, more or less innocent. The very first episode he goes "There ain't a power in the 'verse keep Kaylee from being cheerful. Makes you kinda one lock her in storage with duck tape over her mouth". He says it like it bothers him, but he's smiling.

Which kinda gives a layer to Mal. He wants to protect Kaylee, protect the innocence that she represents. It's a little odd on his exterior character.

Weird thought.

Anyway, Brandon said something that made me want to rip off his clothes and take him right in the middle of the living room, (even though he has mono). See, Brandon used to be a martial arts instructor. HE told me that what he frequently liked to do was go "Good job, you punch like a girl". When the boy would get offended or confused, he would ask one of the females to come over and "demonstrate" for him. The girl would get a happy-evil look in her eyes, run over and punch them. The guy would then pick themselves off of the ground and recognize the compliment.

*Sigh* so sexy: inverting gender roles and encouraging young women.
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Pixie Power! [Mar. 24th, 2006|03:01 pm]
Brandon's little brother is here in Grand Forks. He came in on Wednsday. So everyone knows what this means! (No, not that he gets to spend some quality time with his little brother, who cares about that?) It means PIXIE POWER!

See, when Bryce comes over, or we all go to Brandon's folk's house, we get to play D&D with Brandon DMing. I like when Brandon DM's, he makes the game really interesting, and gives us plenty of time to interact with each other.

But the CHARACTER. I play a Pixie Sorcerouses named Della Lightfoot. Della is freaking AWESOME. My speciality is Evocation (boom spells for those not in the know). I likey boom-spells.

Yesterday, we played at Jon's house: me as Della, Bryce as Pint (from the land of half), a Halfling shadow dancer, Jon as Lord Walter something-or-other, a human necromancer (Della spent the entire night calling him "Tall, dark and creepy" or some varient thereof), Nikki as Leaha, a human ranger with a huge wolf as a mount, and Panzer (like the tank), an NPC ghosted by Brandon, a very intelligent construct has sworn undying alligance to Walter. We defeated an undead lyricist, 4 gargoyals, got past a Death Knight and his drake, a stone goleum, and 4 vampires, destroyed a dark artifact, put a girl's soul to rest, and met some gods. Very cool.

Because I'm awesome, the party SO would have died without me. I'm the one who spotted the trap, I'm the one who earthbound (and destroyed by putting it to sleep) a gargoyal, I earth-bound a master vampire and blasted a few of his fledgling. (of course, we probably wouldn't have lived if ANYONE hadn't been there, but :p I'm feeling happy). But the weird thing is, again it's my non-combat spells that are much more useful than my boom spells. Mind you, most of my big-boom spells are electricity or magic based (not much good against vampires and stone beings), but still...it seems like my characters always follow support, chaotic goods. I'm not the leader, I'd rather make smart ass comments than come up with real plans, I'd rather talk instead of fight, I'm more concerned about lives than I am about loot. Annoy me enough, I'm more likely to embarass you than harm you. My sorcerouss is one bad-ass little pixie: she didn't study or anything to know about magic, it is in the very essence of her soul. All she did was bend her mind around the knowledge that the world is what SHE made of it. Since the world is that of her creation, she feels compelled to enjoy it, and make sure others can enjoy it too.

My bard is a spellcaster as well, after a fashion. She sings, and in that music there is magic (a little more literally in D&D than in reality, but you know). She didn't learn this magic, she heard it in her soul, and spent time honing it until she could share it with the rest of the world.

These are not characters that exist to gain power, or money, or anything: they exist because they want others to play the game they're playing (life, in case your not following along). Not to win, to enjoy it. Life is a game of touch football that you play and don't keep score, and only follow loose rules so no one can cheat, and no one wins or loses.

My bard has a beautiful voice: when she sings even dragons stop to listen. She learned draconic because dragons facinated her, she found it dreadful fun to be able to amuse a dragon. That's the only reason to work towards anything her life, because she thinks it'll make things more fun.

My Pixie has an insatiable curiosity. The curiosity makes her strive to find the answer to anything, which is why she works hard if ever. Something strikes her curiosity, she will focus on it until she is sated: needling, spying, cajolling until she learns what she needs to know. The creature who cannot keep a focus on Leaha's talking for more than 10 second intervals can sit and hover for hours watching a single leaf fall during the autumn, trying to determine why the leaf falls.

Both characters are willing to die for complete strangers: why not? Della would tell you, I've enjoyed the game. Why deprive the chance of someone else to play who may have not enjoyed it yet? Both characters are willing to kill, but find that a horrible violation of the game. Killing is like having to play a referee; it's not fun, and if everyone would just quit trying to ruin everyone's good time it would be completely unnecessary. But they'd do it if necessary: push a pixie too far and you might feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up (quite literally, that's what happens when she convinces the lighting to fall from the sky). Make the bard angry, she will hold you in place while she finds someone to beat the ever living hell out of you. And if you do piss her off, she will find someone to beat you up (someone who will willingly, happily, and with enthusism complete that task) and if you live, she will make you wish to kill your own self.

This is interesting to me: what does this say about me if these are the characters that I play? How much is my imagination, and how much of it is a part of me, or what I want myself to be, coming out? Della and Leandra are seperate, distinct characters (Kalli too, but I haven't mentioned her, so screw it), but they share a lot of similarities. Are those similarities me?
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Political [Mar. 19th, 2006|01:37 pm]
I've decided to no longer subject my friends to my random musings on politics and feminism. Instead, I've decided to going the blogsphere, a third-world country if you will, on blogspot. For those of you who are indeed interested in reading this, the new blog (which as of right now, has no posts) is:
http://goddesscassandra.blogspot.com/ New posts will happen quickly, and I'll probably double post some of my favorite entries into it.
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Women vs. Men [Mar. 8th, 2006|10:33 am]
At Hugo's blog, there's a debate running around about "masculine" and "feminine" and all of which that entails. It's kinda interesting to see how people percieve themselves.

See, I don't really "get" the whole "masculine" thing. I'm not all that concerned about whether or not my actions are female enough or not, so I can't really understand this nervous, homosocial behavior in men. I've known enough guys, am close friends with enough guys to know that they are NOT that different from "women" even though they claim to be. There are some things about men that I won't understand (does it really hurt that much to get kicked in the balls?) because I was growing up percieved to be female, not male. So there really is a limit on how much I can empathize with them, which is unfortunate. Just the same that I can't fully empathize with others of a different race, or really: anyone.

Race and gender are meaningless to me...except, that they were MADE to be part of my identity. I am white and female. I didn't get this choice in my part of my identity, it was FORCED, reinforced, and encouraged on me. And to some degree, I've m ade my peace with that. I can accept that I am female, and what have you.

But it's not really a portion of my identity I embraced. There are many aspects of my identity I embraced: nerd, acedemic, feminist, I worry about continuing (to some degree...mostly it comes easily). But I would never worry about maintaining being a girl: it's not ME, it's something others percieve me to be.

I don't understand why it's really particularily necessary: a human is a human. Let them pick their own joys and identities. Quit putting this pressure to be something they're not.

Screw it, work's over, enough random musing.
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